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: Listowel Writers Week Page 1 of 7

In Kanturk

A Corner of Listowel Town Square

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Revival

Phot0; John Kelliher
Photo shared by Revival

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A New Business on Church Street

Opening shortly…a hairdresser’s, I’d say

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Lartigue Little Theatre remembered in Kerry Writers’ Museum

I remember the glory days of Danny Hannon’s little theatre. It is commemorated now in this little corner of Kerry Writers’ Museum. This building at No. 24 The Square is very near to where the theatre once operated.

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In Kanturk with Horses

My Kanturk family are horse mad, Well not all of them, my brother Pat and his daughter and my god daughter, Elizabeth. Their horse business is EPA and their horses official names are prefixed by these letters, standing for Elizabeth and Pat Ahern.

An invaluable member of the team is the superb international horsewoman, Felicity Ward. Felicity’s yard is a second home to Pat and Elizabeth. Felicity’s family are also part of the team. The horse below is not owned by EPA. This is Felicity’s star pupil, James O’Callaghan’s Cuba. This international partnership is in France at the moment.

On my recent visit to Kanturk I got to visit the yard and the Ward family. I was mightily impressed.

Felicity and Cuba

The stable at evening

Elizabeth Ahern and Chris Ward

Fred Ward, Pat Ahern, Felicity Ward, Elizabeth Ahern and Chris Ward in their working clothes on a summer evening in 2022. The horse is Murphy. He is in retirement.

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Heritage Week

This is Heritage Week and live events are back.

I participated in a great guided walk on Saturday. I’ll tell you all about it soon but in the meantime I dont want you to miss the following;

Bliain dár Saol (Listowel 1972)In 1972 Ireland and Listowel were in a state of flux. Ireland was about to enter the E.E.C. – the great European community that was to change all our lives. Listowel was in the midst of its own celebrations of community with Tops of the Town, the Fleadh Cheoil, Writers’ Week and the Wren Boys. Local documentary film maker, John Lynch and his collaborator, John Pierse realised that there was something here that deserved to be preserved and immortalised.

Fifty years on Kerry Writers’ Museum will screen the acclaimed documentary during National Heritage Week.  Narrated by legendary actor Eamon Keane, Bliain dár Saol is a masterpiece that celebrates a way of life and a sense of community that is uniquely Irish and uniquely Listowel.

Screenings will take place daily at 2 pm from Monday August 15th to Wednesday August 17th.  Attendance is limited to a maximum capacity of 30 people per day. Book in advance by emailing kerrywritersmuseum@gmail.comor calling us on 068 22212.

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1991

Listowel Castle, June 2022

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Great weekend in The Tinteán

Nathan Carter rocked Ballybunion on Friday and Saturday nights June 1 and 2 2022

Photo: Facebook

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The Black Valley

Lovely photos of an unspoiled part of The Kingdom shared online by Michael Rodgers.

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Pres Secondary School staff 1991

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Last few from Writers Week 2022

A few photos from early June 2022

Alice and Mary

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Plaza Cinema

Bridge to Listowel Racecourse over flooded Feale in June 2022

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William or Patrick?

William Street, Listowel, in Irish is rendered as Sráid and Phiarsaigh, just one of many street naming puzzles in Listowel.

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Plaza Cinema

Here are the rest of the great old film posters that Norma O’Connor sent us.

If any one has a story relating to any of these films, we’d love to hear it. First date maybe, disastrous date or the best night of your life.

Norma sent us the schedule for some of these films in The Plaza, Church Street, Listowel.

The Law and Order with Ronald Reagan showed on 3/06/1956

A girl in every port – 6/09/1954

Lost in Alaska – 13/02/1955

Run for Cover – 06/11/1956

The Virgin Queen – 19/11/1956

Suddenly – 27/11/1955

Malta Story – 14/02/1955

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Listowel Writers’ Week 2022; Friday Walk

One of the really enjoyable events for patrons of Writers’ Week is the daily morning walks.

Vincent Carmody made these rambles around town a feature and he is still the most knowledgeable walking guide.

I have learned from a master and now I am delighted to guide a Morning Walk. This year it was on Friday, June 3.

My walk is much like my blog, totally random and with a lot of help from my friends.

This is the 2022 team. Kay Caball is the historian, Seán Stack with a lot of help from Mary Fagan is in charge of sound, Clíona McKenna reads a bit and acts as my assistant and prompter, Paddy McElligott is in charge of all the tenor numbers, Mary Moylan is the musician and singer extraordinaire and Éamon ÓMurchú reads eloquently from the work of Joseph O’Connor.

Because I am otherwise engaged, I don’t get to take too many photos but I got a few.

Kay Caball regaling the walkers with tales of The Fitzmaurices and their adventures.

With some walkers before we set off from The Listowel Arms.

I met this lady on Opening Night and she told me she’d come even though she isn’t too keen on walking. I assured her that calling this event a walk is a grave misnomer.

This is me in full flight, telling a tale or two.

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A Poem About How it Is

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Lovely Listowel

The Silent Valley, Co. Down. Photo; Éamon ÓMurchú

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Flowers in The Square in June 2022

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More People from Writers’ Week 2022

Bernie Carmody and Eilish Wren were very happy to be working hard at Writers’ Week 2022.

My daughter took this picture of myself and Rose McGinty. It was great to see Rose back in Listowel after a tough old time health wise.

Charlie Nolan was out and about during Writers Week as well.

Three happy men and a beautiful lady. These are my fellow chroniclers and keepers of the flame, Charlie Nolan, John Lynch and Billy Keane. The lovely lady is John’s daughter, Deirdre.

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New Shop in Town

I think it sells vaping stuff, CBD oil and lots of other odds and ends.

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St. Mary’s Parish, Listowel

This book which was put together by the late Listowel priest, Fr. Kieran O’Shea has some great historical information about the parishes of Kerry.

Here is what it says about Listowel.

(more tomorrow)

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Globe in Cobh

Garry and Anne Wilson who own Belvelly Castle were the people responsible for bringing the huge art installation which is The Gaia Globe to St. Coleman’s Cathedral in Cobh.

My family went to see it on its last weekend in town and their verdict, “Awesome”.

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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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