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: Personal Page 1 of 8

A Walk in Listowel

William Street in July 2022; Photo by Elizabeth Brosnan

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A Ragged Robin

As I was walking my canine visitor through Gurtinard Wood I spotted this friendly robin posing on a sign telling us all about him and the other fauna we might meet in these parts. He waited for me to get a close up. Not looking his best, I thought. A bit ragged! Maybe he is only a baby and not fully into the complexities of feather preening yet.

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Hawthorn Drive

This small estate is a well deserved winner of many Tidy Town prizes.

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On the Eve of the All Ireland

Dan Doyle who grew up in Kerry’s Black Valley and now lives thousands of miles away in the U.S. Looks forward to All Ireland Sunday

July 23 2022

So tomorrow is the All Ireland final football match in Croke Park in Dublin.  Two counties made it through after playing all year.  This year it is Galway and Kerry.  Tonight these players will sit and think about tomorrow.  It is a time to reflect on a life with the ball.  They start as young lads and some make it this far.

It takes a lot of help to step on that ground at Croke Park, a lot of luck, a lot of hours alone training, a lot of meditation and a family who leave them alone to get the bodies in tip top form.  To play tomorrow is an honor.  This game is an amateur sport played by the fittest 30 men in the world. 

  I have had the privilege of knowing a few who made it this far.  I have had the privilege of knowing a few who won All Ireland medals and to their dying day they remembered that game for the rest of their lives. One friend won two and he had them made into a bracelet for his mom. When she died she made sure he got them back.  Most of us who win medals really think little about them but an All Ireland medal is something special.

Tonight will be hard to go to sleep and tomorrow they will lace on the boots and march behind the Artane Boys band and when the referee blows the whistle all the nerves will go away.  It will be tense in the beginning.  Bodies will be tense and then it will start to flow.

If it is a good game the referee will be mostly out of it.  It is a place where names are made. It will be all over and they will shake hands and swap jerseys.  They will go home to Kerry and Galway and they will play it over in their minds for years.  People will shake their hands and congratulate them if they win, but for those 30 tomorrow it is a world away from everyone except those men between the white lines.  

It is actually a beautiful game to watch when it is played the way it is supposed to be played.  Some will retire.  Some will see they are too old as it is a young man’s game and as winter winds blow off the mountains players will hang the boots up, some forever.  Anyway lads I am glad it is Galway and Kerry, two great sporting counties and tomorrow night we will have a winner. 

 I used to love the third Sunday in September when Kerry played in Croke Park.  I have seen a lot of good times and a lot of heartbreak  too when we lose , I will listen on the radio to Ambrose O’Donovan in America.  I could be anywhere looking at it on these big screens but I will do what my father did in the Black Valley when we listened to Kerry V Armagh long ago in 1953.  I just wont hit the Pye Radio with a stone hammer just because the battery died as Mc Corrig was taking the Penalty.

Good Luck lads tomorrow and it is our honor to watch Gaelic games all over the world.

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Meeting Your Heroes

When Breda Ferris was in Croke Park for the All Ireland Senior Football Final 2022 she snapped a few famous GAA people only too willing to pose with young and not so young fans.

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Best of luck to the Kerry Ladies on Sunday against Meath.

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Sunshine in Listowel

She’s back! Molly Madra is back for her Kerry holidays. We are out walking at the crack of dawn to beat the heat.

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Kerry Pride

Danny pinning his colours to the mast in a lovely display in The Small Square.

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How to End the Conversation, Irish Style

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Some Fifth Year Classes

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Kayaking Tours

This fantastic shot is from Jason ODoherty of Ballybunion Kayaking Tours. The Kayak is in The Nine Daughters’ Hole, Ballybunion.

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Old William Street Shops

Photos shared online by Mike Hannon

Kennelly’s Cloth Hall
O’Sullivan’s ( later Opticians)
Relihan.s william St.
Sheahan’s

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In Blarney

In The Garden of Europe, Listowel in July 2022

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Churches in Blarney

When I was in Blarney recently I visited their churches. For me visiting a new church is like visiting a gallery or a museum.

The Church Of Ireland church was closed when I was there but the churchyard was particularly well kept and, given its central location in the town, it was great to see it obviously appreciated.

The Catholic Church is at the top of a hill too. On the way up to the entrance there is this lovely Lourdes grotto.

Lots of stained glass here.

There was much mosaic work in the sanctuary.

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A Few More Irishisms or Mammyisms

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I’m a Proud Nana

Tennis doubles partners, Killian Cogan and his Papa, Bobby, won the first round of their tennis tournament on their first outing as a team.

I’m dead proud of these men.

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Perfect Weather for a Wedding

Summer wedding in Ballydonoghue. Photo: Barbara Kissane

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I was at Mike the Pies

By the River Feale, July 2022

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I was in Mike the Pies

A lovely lady gave me a present of a ticket to see Bernard Casey. So I went to Listowel’s, and maybe even Ireland’s, most famous Comedy and Music venue on Friday last, July 8 2022, for the first time.

Radio Kerry’s Brendan Fuller was our MC for the night.

I thought he was older. He said he gets that all the time. He was in top form and he told us that he is looking forward to being a dad very soon.

Then we had Gossip and The Nephew and mentions of Foley although no reference to McCarthy, the Low Road.

Bernard Casey is very good at what he does. Considering that I have only ever seen him on the internet I didn’t know how his type of stuff would transfer to the live audience. He was even better in person. He involved his audience (Thank God I escaped that.) and he found comedy where we saw none. One table had Paula, Paula, and Paul. He loved that and teased them good humouredly throughout the set.

Three lads in “short pants” were sitting near the stage. They were in from their holiday in Ballybunion and up for the craic. He teased them about hurling and football and young guys’ stuff in general. At another table were a couple who met on Tinder and another table had a couple who were going out for a long time. Then there were the people from Duagh and Tarbert, the fellow who went to St. Michael’s, a man who cycled the Ring of Kerry last weekend, and of course Niall, the dog (You had to be there!).

It was a great night. I’d go again.

Mary, Catherine, Helen and Mary

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We have a Winner

Story from Radio Kerry

The manager of Value Centre Listowel has been named Cash and Carry Manager of the Year.

Gary Moriarty took the title at the prestigious annual ShelfLife Grocery Management Awards.

The awards recognise and honour management excellence in local and convenience stores, wholesalers, and supermarkets.

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The Way we Are

This book is a great one to dip into. You’ll hear yourself, or your Mammy in a few of these.

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Forgive me While I boast

This is Aisling Darby, my eldest granddaughter. She is here receiving an award for “Gymnast of the Year” in her club, Douglas Gymnastics Club. People who have my book, A Minute of Your Time, can see the same Aisling, aged 9, on page 51.

I used her picture to illustrate a reflection about learning to lose.

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Remembering

Schiller, Garden of Europe, Listowel, July 2 2022

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All grown up

My eldest grandchildren, twins Killian and Sean Cogan have grown up before our eyes on Listowel Connection. In this recent photo they are celebrating their French connection.

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Our New Cycleway

This is Bridge Road in early July 2022. The cycle path is laid but not open for business yet.

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Pres Yearbook 2005/06

In the year following her retirement, pupils shared their memories of Mrs. Anne Dillon with the yearbook committe.

Gone but not forgotten….May her dear soul rest in peace.

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Working from Home, the Reality

A busy mum tweeted this note from her daughter, passed under the door during a Teams work meeting.

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Mixing it with the Big Guns

Ballybunion Golf Club members were delighted to get to chat with Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy as they played a round in Ballybunion in preparation for The Open next week.

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