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 Page 1 of 56

Something old, Something New

The Square, Listowel in August 2022

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Brother and Horses

In Bettyville, Kanturk

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Weight Gain

Here is a laugh for today’s young people. Once upon a time, not a hundred years ago for I remember it well, you had to pay to weigh yourself. Scales like these stood in the pharmacy and you put a penny in the slot to operate the weighing scales.

People didn’t have bathroom scales. Many people didn’t have bathrooms. These scales offered a public service. This one appeared recently in a post in my Kanturk Memories group. It stood not in a pharmacy but in a diner style café. The owners , the O’Sullivan family, had returned from the USA and had brought all kinds of new ideas to Kanturk. Their café had banquette seating in booths just like in the movies, it had a juke box and this weighing scales.

When we went to the city; Cork, we loved to weigh ourselves in Woolworths because their scales gave you a little card with your weight on it. Would we want it now?

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Time Flies

These two young men walking with their Nana in Gurtinard last weekend are the same two boys I snapped on Church Street on a visit to Nana in another lifetime. They are Killian and Sean Cogan from Cork. I am the Nana.

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It was Roses, Roses all the way

Our girl is off on her tour around the country and by all accounts, she is wowing them wherever she goes.

I put my money where my mouth is but by the time I got there Edaein was already installed as the favourite. 😍 🤩 🥳

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Revival, the Reunion

It used to be the Races, now it’s Revival. One visitor described Friday evening at Revival as 1000 people in a carpark standing and chatting with old friends and 500 people upfront attending a concert.

Among the former were Seán, Valeria, Richard and Elaine.

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It’s still Heritage Week 2022

You’ve got two more chances to see Bliain dar Saol in Kerry Writers Museum. It’s on today, Tuesday Aug. 16 2022 and Wednesday Aug. 17 2022. Both showings are at 2.30 pm.

I snapped these two local heroes yesterday August 15 2022 on their way to mass.

John Lynch has preserved lots and lots of Listowel memories on film. He made Bliain dar Saol in collaboration with John Pierse. It records a year in Listowel fifty years ago.

Pat Walsh served us well in McKenna’s for years. He was also one of the men who worked so hard to keep the Pitch and Putt course in perfect condition.

Men like these are the salt of the earth.

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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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Knocknagoshel

In Marley Park, Dublin Photo: Eamon ÓMurchú

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Ramping Up theExcitement a Bit

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A Wash and Blow Dry

A horse on washday

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Listowel Town Council 1979

Newly elected Council members. Photo shared by Mike Hannon.

May all those who have passed away rest in peace.

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A Harrow

Our ancient ancestors used to harrow the soil with tree branches. Harrowing usually follows ploughing.

Does anyone remember Peann agus Dúch, a book of Irish essays we used to have in fourth class? The work of the farmer in spring was treabhadh (ploughing), fuirse (harrowing) is ag cur síol (planting).

Harrowing pulverises the soil.

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Con Houlihan’s First Column

In his first newspaper column the great Con celebrated Knocknagoshel. The Kerryman reproduced the column last week.

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Revival is Revived

In a Field in Kanturk

The lovely Woody

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They’ll be dancing in the streets

The Square Listowel is the place to be this weekend.

Important notice for mass goers…

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Athea in the 1950s

Not that much has changed.

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Jostle stones at an old Gate

In Kildare Town I saw this old sign on a gate. the penalty for leaving this gate open sounded very steep at forty shillings

On either side of the gate were these jostle stones.

Jostle stones were concrete or stone bollards whose purpose was to protect the walls from damage by nudging the carriage wheels into the centre of the path.

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A Fact

In 1492 Pope Innocent VIII drank the blood of three young donors, thinking it would prevent ageing. He died shortly after.

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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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