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: History Page 2 of 19

Our Little Stretch of Greenway

Rainbow over Listowel

Photo taken by Edel O’Connor as she left St. Mary’s on Sunday October 30th 2022

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The Lartigue Little Theatre

The Kerryman April 1 1972

The Listowel Notes announced the beginning of this iconic Listowel theatre. The first fundraising efforts were very modest i.e. a jumble sale..

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Local People at the Official Opening of the Listowel Abbeyfeale Greenway

Margaret, Daisy and guest
Damien brought his dog. Dogs are welcome on the greenway.
Christy, Damien and Moss were there to witness history being made

Keen cyclist, Jimmy Moloney, stopped for a chat with his neighbour, Marie Regan on his way home from the opening ceremony.

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Our Newest Mural

Garrett Joyce has finished our latest mural by now. When I visited him on October 28th 2022 he was nearly finished.

If you can at all, do go and see it for yourself. My photos don’t do it justice.

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End of an Era

Breda Canty, photographer, took the photo of fisherman on The Cashen at 5.30 am one morning. Breda was doing a big clearout of her stock at Listowel Food and Craft Fair. I bought this never to be repeated image,. I was tempted to buy the lot. She has some beautiful pictures of North Kerry.

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Just a Thought or Six

Source; The internet

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Transport and Churches

Beautiful autumnal corner of Listowel Town Square

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Samhain

(from Joe Kennedy’s Country Matters in yesterday’s Independent)

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The Residency @ 74

Isn’t it coming along beautifully?

Martin Chute has added his flourish.

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St. Batt’s Well

From Shannonside Annual 1959

Note the reference to Collopy’s Corner.

Public transport has improved since those days. Here is a recent post from Tarbert.ie

“There are now buses running 4 times daily to Listowel and back to Tarbert. The 1st bus leaves Tarbert at 7.55am. There is also buses running to Limerick 4 times daily and back. The 1st bus leaves at 6.45am.”

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Listowel Food Fair 2022 Opening Banquet

I was lucky enough to be invited to this feast in the Listowel Arms on October 27 2022

The evening was a celebration of delicious Listowel food and was in tribute to Kerry Group which has sponsored the food fair from the beginning. Kerry Group is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. We were honoured to have at our table, Eddie Moylan who was one of the founding members of what is now an 8 billion euro global industry.

We heard great tales of soggy boggy fields and employees in caravans. From a little acorn in the Canon’s field, Listowel, a mighty oak has surely grown.

Liz and Jim Dunn, Mary Cogan, Helen and Eddie Moylan, Martin Moore and Simone Langemann

Here is the menu for the meal

Because of Kerry’s sponsorship of Kerry football, Jason Foley, newly announced as Ballydonoghue’s first All Star was a guest of honour.

Jason Foley and Jimmy Deenihan……… photo shared by Jimmy

We got to pose with another guest of honour, who has become a bit like Banquo’s ghost, turning up at every feast.

Eamonn Dillon, Sam, Mary Cogan, Eddie and Helen Moylan

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A Reunion Photo

When this class from the early sixties reunited, they brought a few old photos with them. Here is one of the girls from a good few years ago.

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A marathon dance in 1889

St. John’s Listowel in October 2022

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GAA is Family

Anthony Nash, former Cork goalkeeper has retired from club hurling. His emotional decision was covered in the sport website The42.

I met Anthony Nash in Strand Street, Kanturk in 2014 when Kanturk hurling was in its heyday and Nash’s career with Cork was flourishing.

Eight years later, he has made the hard decision to leave the pitch.

Here is the 42 article.

ANTHONY NASH HAS decided to call time on his club hurling career after South Liberties were beaten in the Limerick SHC semi-final 1-23 to 0-9 by Na Piarsaigh. 

The two-time All-Star transferred to South Liberties in 2021. The club secured their spot in Limerick’s final four after a stunning 1-13 to 0-14 win over Patrickswell before suffering defeat in Kilmallock last Saturday. 

“It was sore in a way, you are living in fairytale land going into a game but I thought the lads were exceptional,” Nash said, speaking on The42‘s GAA Weekly podcast.“After 35 minutes we were three points down, just the difference in class pulled through. There is no point saying otherwise, a far better team beat us.” 

Nash spent 16 years representing Cork at senior level. After his inter-county retirement, he transferred to the South Liberties club due to strong family links.

His parents hail from the parish and his uncles, former South Liberties players Declan and Mike Nash, won two Munster medals with Limerick and played in two All-Ireland finals during the 1990s. His cousin is player of the year nominee Barry Nash. 

“I’m done. I kind of made a decision last year that I wasn’t going to play on. Christmas time came, I was saying what will I do and I felt ok. I still feel ok, thank God.

“I referenced this in the dressing room after, I came out of a county career and a club career with a few injuries, but nothing major. Disks in my back and neck but I’m able to walk and talk, play golf. I consider that a successful career. 

“As I said to the lads in the Kanturk WhatsApp, I am hanging up that beautifully designed Aidan Walsh hurley once and for all. Leading into it I was saying, ‘can’t wait to be finished. Hoping it would be a county final. How tough it all was, sick of it etc.’

“Then I took off my boots for the final time and got emotional. That is it. Memories of a child, family driving you everywhere and anywhere. 

“I’d thank everyone who helped me get what I did. I’ll never forget the help. I think a lot of umpires will be delighted, I won’t be nagging about wide balls! I am very honoured to have represented Cork, captained Cork, played for the club where I was born and finished my career with my family.” 

Nash said getting to finish in the famed green and gold was the perfect ending to his playing career.

“At the time of the transfer, 90 per cent was positive including Kanturk. there is always ten per cent negativity. ‘A disgrace for transferring, all that stuff.’ People just don’t understand my story. I’d never apologise.

“My grandfather was there after the game the last day, he was crying. My uncle was crying.

“It was an emotional day for me to be able to hang up my boots with the Liberties jersey on. I got to go to Croke Park and win a club All-Ireland with Kanturk. Everyone says, ‘one club, one county.’

“It was a dream to be able to finish my career with my cousin on the field, my uncle as a selector on the sideline. All my family standing around, hugging and embracing. I wouldn’t swap it for the world. 

“In fairness, all my Kanturk friends wished me the best. I turned 38 last week and I was getting congratulations and happy birthdays from Kanturk. I’d hope to get involved in that club in a few years’ time.

“For me, I know a fairytale ending seems like a county final but it was a fairytale ending that I get to wear the green and gold of South Liberties after growing up with them during the summers.

“Hard to take, Sunday was a tough day but look, I will be fine. I am very grateful to hurling as a sport. Very grateful to the GAA.”

To listen to the full episode, go to members.the42.ie.

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Collopy ‘s Bar and Hotel

Remember Collopy’s Corner?

It was a lively place in 1889 according to this newspaper clip that Dave O’Sullivan found in the Kerry Evening Post.

I wonder do any of the local Kissane’s know anything of this legendary ancestor?

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Danny’s Halloween Window

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Jerry Kennelly Remembers

The Square, Listowel October 2022

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Jerry Kennelly’s Memories

From Shannonside Annual 1959

Shannonside Annual printed some of Jerry Kennelly’s reminiscences in 1959.

Jerry claimed that he was known by every man, woman and child in Listowel and district.

I hope this print isn’t too small. I firmly believe our ancestors had great eyesight. Old newspapers and magazines all seem to have tiny print size. This old man tells a first person account of life in Listowel in bygone days…. e.g.”the time of Bonaparte.”

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In The Park

1916 Commemorative garden

Lane between Park and Bridge Road

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De Valera and the Jews

Further to my Michael O’Connor story of Friday last, I went on an internet search for a forest in Israel and Jewish people in Ireland.

I found this picture of the Nobel prize winning physicist, Edwin Schrodinger on the internet. He was probably the most illustrious (and controversial) Jewish person who Dev. invited to Ireland.

Dev had two great passions, Celtic Studies and Maths. He set up the Institute for Advanced Studies and invited Shrodinger, then a renowned theoretical physicist, to be part of it. The invitation was timely as Schrodinger, an Austrian Jew, was facing expulsion or worse. He came to Ireland in 1939 and spent 17 happy years here.

I don’t pretend to understand any of his wave mechanics stuff. All I get from “Schrodinger’s Cat” is that a cat can be alive and dead at the same time.

Schrodinger took out Irish citizenship in 1948.

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All Fine and Dandy

The Curragh; Photo: Éamon ÓMurchú

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Dandy Lodge Facelift

Kerry’s Eye

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A Book Recommendation

I haven’t seen this one yet so I’m giving you advance notice of what sounds like a must for all local historians.

Lyreacrompane native, Joe Harrington, has just published a book on very first Butter Road from Kerry to the Cork Butter Market.  Joe describes the book, ‘Once Upon a Road’ as a “search for the olden days on a sixty-mile journey through 275 years of time”. 

The subject of the book is the road from Ballyduhig, near the Six Crosses, through Lyreacrompane, Castleisland, Cordal, Tooreencahill, Millstreert, Aubane, Vicarstown, to Kerry Pike outside Cork City.  It was originally built as a tollroad/turnpike, under a 1747 Act of Parliament. The man behind the venture was a John Murphy from Castleisland.  ‘When I was growing up, I remember the dispensary at Pike, halfway between Lyreacrompane and Listowel. I often wondered why it was named Pike. Researching the history of this road over recent years I discovered that Pike in fact alluded to a turnpike/toll gate on this spot from the early 1750s to 1809.  It was one of six that John Murphy was entitled to erect on the road all the way to Cork up until the latter date”, Joe explained.

The book ‘Once Upon a Road’ with 364 full colour pages and 315 images, maps and photos which Joe was delighted to have printed locally by Walsh Colour Print, Castleisland with graphic design by Easy Design, Causeway.

Joe has been researching the history of the road for the past five years and it initially led to him writing a song on the subject; ‘The Road John Murphy Made’, which won the Sean McCarthy Ballad Competition a couple of years back.  “The ballad was about one man’s trip on the road in the 1750s and the book broadens the story of the road that connected the dairy lands of north Kerry and the famous Cork Butter Market”, Joe explained.  

‘Once Upon a Road ‘dips into the local history of the townlands, towns, villages, and settlements through which the road passes. Every mile on ‘The Road John Murphy Made’ has a story to tell and along the way we will meet Whiteboys and Hedge Schoolmasters, Freedom Fighters and Moonlighters, Famines and Natural Disasters, Mass Rocks and Wedge Tombs, Bronze age hoards and Bog Butter, Lost Estates and Evicted Tenants”, Joe explains. The road even played a part in the slave trade he reveals.

From Ballyduhig, where the road began near the present day Six Crosses, to Kerry Pike near Cork City the book is a travelogue in time and place.  Like the rest of the book, the Listowel to Lyreacrompane section is packed with the happening in the area since the road was built in the 1750s. The killing of the Earl of Desmond at Gleanageenty is revisited as is the adventures of the Earl of Kerry who owned much of the land through which the turnpike was built.  Matchmakers, bog slides, new and ancient, and the story of the Lyreacrompane man who oversaw at least three hundred executions in an American Prison fill the pages as do heroes like Amelia Canty and villains like Lucy Ann Thompson. The visit of William Makepeace Thackeray, of Punch fame (or shame) to Listowel is recounted.

I would like to thank all the local historians along the route who unstintingly related to me all they had discovered about their own area and, on a road known for its ‘straight as a gunbarrell’ stretches, to Kay O’Leary, who, so to speak, kept me on the straight and narrow.  

Once upon a road is widely available including from Joe Harrington, Lyreacrompane. Joe can be contacted at 0872853570.

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A Few More from Ladies Day 2022

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A Piece of History

the source

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Back in 1949

This was Marie Neligan Shaw’s found treasure which I shared with you yesterday. I had found no one to tell me who Pat Crowley was. No one that is until Dave O’Sullivan came to our rescue.

Dave searched the papers and found that Pat Crowley was a big name on the dance scene in 1949 and for years afterwards. Here is what Dave found

Now this begs the question; Does anyone remember Des Fretwell or the Pavilion?

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