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

Remembering Neodata

Feale Monument, Listowel Town Square in November 2022

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Remember Neodata?

This is a photo taken before the demolition of the prefab.

Neodata was long gone by then.

In 2016 Liz Galvin sent us this photo of Neodata staff. It brought back happy memories for many then. I hope it will again.

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Poem of the Year

Catherine, Martin, Simone and Paula in Dublin for An Post Irish Book Awards on November 23 2022.

Listowel Writers’ Week sponsors the poetry competition at this event.

These were the very talented short listed poets.

……and the winner i………s Martina Dalton.

Here is her poem. (By the way, it was the one I voted for.)

POEM: WEDDING DRESS

Scalloped leaves entrap a sprig of white

Forget-me-not.

Silk-wound stems repeat themselves

like vows, around a missing throat.

Hexagons of net, like they’ve been honed

by microscopic bees.

A circle smudged in pink,

where confetti must have caught.

Trapped forever in the past.

Where the bodice meets the skirt,

a row of tiny beads join hands.

Lace stretched to bursting round a heart.

A row of sixteen satin covered discs,

miss their counterparts, wait eagerly

to slip each lined up loop.

Pronovias of Barcelona, stitched in gold.

Double edged the snow white hem,

stained now, where it hit the floor.

The buttons at the cuff

never needing to be opened,

so small my hands had been.

A satin band now torn,

where I wound it tightly round my wrist

for our first dance.

Held up to the light, the net in pleats

forms ghostly ribs, delicate

against the plain white cotton of my bed.

Like it’s being lifted from a photograph

I hold it by its shoulders.

Fold it from the outside in.

White pencilled squiggles gather messy

on the floor. Each wrinkle of the train,

like tip of tide on sand.

Perfume, catches in my throat.

The overwhelming scent,

of Celebration, Love in white,

Faded rose.

Published – Irish Independent/New Irish Writing – 30th July 2022

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Christmas Times

I never heard of that custom. According to Tomás O Murchadh it was observed across the border in Abbeyfeale.

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Big Day for Listowel Gardaí

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Another Christmas Craft Fair

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Then and Now

2016
2022

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Welcome the Greenway

At the Curragh; Photo by Éamon ÓMurchú

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Colourful Restoration

At every stage of the loving restoration of this building, its facade offers us a new aspect to the Church Street streetscape. This premises has been looking neglected for many years. I predict it will be one of the most beautiful shopfronts on the street when it is finished. Thank you everyone involved.

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The News is Out

All over town.

Signs have appeared alerting us all to our new amenity, The long awaited Greenway.

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Writers Week 1973

Matt Mooney sent me this brochure from Writers Week 1973

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Nadd, Co Cork

A rare sight nowadays! I was only too glad to wait as this Fresian crossing took me back a good few years.

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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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