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

Category: Personal Page 1 of 12

Listowel, Kanturk and Finuge

Photo: Chris Grayson


Another Unusual Shop Front

Con Dillon’s, William Street
First floor window

The text is from the Streets of Listowel book .


How the Other Side Worshipped

Remember last week I brought you the lovely old Protestant church in my native Kanturk.

Quite far away on foot but no distance as the crow flies is this gate into the same church.

It is located right beside the side entrance to Egmond House, a short cut for the gentry to their Sunday service.

Lots of little titbits of history to be learned in the new heritage trail.


Finuge GAA reliving the glory days

I spotted the following on Facebook.

Eamonn Fitzmaurice and Paul Galvin…photo Finuge GAA on Facebook


It’s coming up to the 10 year anniversary of our club’s appearance in the All Ireland Intermediate final in Croke Park.  Time flies!

This piece below captures Éamonn Fitmaurices reflections in 2019 on what was a hectic and fun time for our club…


Eamonn Fitzmaurice on Club Glory and Defeat

04 Feb 2019 Club , Kerry GAA and County


Eamonn Fitzmaurice’s case is not an unusual one. He grew up dreaming of glory with club and county, but then out of the blue came the two buses at once.

He had already lifted the Sam Maguire as a player. But for 2013, the Kerry county board appointed this managerial novice as successor to Jack O’Connor, as the locals expected.

All the while, Fitzmaurice was one of the veteran players on the Finuge team in hot pursuit of an AIB All-Ireland IFC title. Two ambitions coming into view, with one complicating the other. As if that wasn’t enough, Fitzmaurice was also managing Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne in the Corn Uí Mhuirí.

“The month of January in 2013 was completely mad,” Fitzmaurice tells AIB GAA. “I was involved with Finuge, with Kerry, and with the school as well, so I had three gear bags going! I remember one weekend we had a match on the Friday with the school in the Corn Uí Mhuirí, which we won. Then on the Saturday, we played against Tipp in the McGrath Cup, and won. On the Sunday then, we played the All-Ireland semi-final against the Kildare side Monasterevin, so it was a crazy weekend but brilliant because we won all the games.”

If only every weekend could be so easy. As it turned out, Fitzmaurice would lead his school to Munster glory in the Corn Uí Mhuirí, but spring would not run so smoothly for the Kingdom, as they lost four league games in a row and the pressure mounted.

While all of this was happening, he had to prepare for a February 9th clash with the Tyrone champions, Cookstown Fr Rocks, led by Owen Mulligan. Heading into the game, all the talk centred around the rivalry between the two counties over the previous decade; of Paul Galvin and Fitzmaurice going toe-to-toe with Mulligan and Raymond Mulgrew (who had just returned from two years in Australia) once more.

“My last game at Croke Park had been with Kerry in 2006, the All-Ireland final (win over Mayo),” says Fitzmaurice. “I didn’t think I’d be back playing there, and here we were about six and a half years later.

“We had gotten to the junior club All-Ireland in 2005 and beaten Stewartstown Harps but that was the year before it was moved to Croke Park, so we had played that final in Portlaoise. We lost a few intermediate finals in Kerry but finally won it in 2012, and then made it to the All-Ireland. It was fantastic to get back to Croke Park after so long.

“We trained very hard for that final. I remember the last hard session that we had before the final, it must have been a week out. But we had this training game where you got the ball and four or five lads would tackle you, just trying to condition ourselves for what we expected against a Tyrone side. It didn’t turn out to be the best idea, because Jack Corridan ended up with a broken nose and there was a bit of a row! I think I’m still getting blamed for it to this day, but it wasn’t me.”

In contact sport, anything can happen, and Fitzmaurice is able to look back and see the funny side of it now. But the stories didn’t end there.

“For the final, we decided to travel up the night before and stayed at the Louis Fitzgerald Hotel which is outside Dublin (near the Red Cow roundabout). We had a bit of time to kill on the Saturday, so we were out in the car park having a kick-around, but there were balls flying out on the M7 (motorway), and lads dancing out trying to retrieve them.”

Unfortunately for the north Kerry side, the big day didn’t go as planned. Finuge trailed by just a point at half-time but Mulgrew and another returning Cookstown player, Barry Mulligan, would help inspire the Tyrone men to a 1-9 to 0-6 win.

“We had always been a physical side, but we felt it wouldn’t suit us against a Tyrone side,” says Fitzmaurice. “We worked on discipline and maybe that took the natural edge off us. They were cuter on the day.”

It turned out to be Fitzmaurice’s final game for the club, and though he was disappointed to miss out on playing senior with Finuge, he needed to focus on his duties as Kerry manager — to give it his full attention. He may have missed out on All-Irelands with his club and ultimately as county boss in 2013, but he would lead the Kingdom and Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne to the promised land in 2014.

As with most GAA careers, it begins and ends with the club for Fitzmaurice. He grew up just outside Lixnaw and was an accomplished hurler, but ultimately football took over when an under-16 tournament in Limerick proved he could compete with the best footballers around. Three miles separate his two clubs, and the two co-exist in harmony.

“Finuge is a small place, there’s a shop, a pub, the field, and a teach siamsa — a thatched cottage which is a centre for traditional music and dancing. Lixnaw then, to the west, has four pubs, two or three shops, and a church. Paul Galvin and Trevor McKenna would be out that way too. There’s no rivalry between the two clubs and a lot of lads played both codes.”

He explains that he started out as a centre-back in hurling but ultimately made the move out to midfield for his biggest days with Lixnaw. “I enjoyed the hurling and I was centre-back but when I was away playing football, I found it hard to get my touch back. Paul got his touch back a lot quicker. So, they put me out at midfield to be a workhorse and I played there for the three county finals we won.

“GAA is a huge part of the community and it’s unusual in a way because I come from the west part of the parish, and it was all hurling when I was younger, but I got more attached to the football over time,” Fitzmaurice adds. “I was in Finuge recently and I was looking at a tribute wall of club honours, and prior to our group, we had just two North Kerry championships won in the late ‘60s and ‘80s.

“Then we went from Division 5 to Division 1, like going from Junior B to senior. In the middle of it, we didn’t take much notice and you expect to win more, but it really was a golden age (winning county and Munster titles at junior and intermediate).”


Yondr in St. Michael’s

Photo John Kelliher for The Kerryman

Boys in St. Michael’s pop their phones into a locked pouch for the duration of the school day.

There was Tommy Tiernan thinking he had came up with something revolutionary when St. Michael’s had it all the time.

Tommy says he paid a fortune to an American company for these pouches that he used for the first time in Vicar Street last week. If you have booked for his gig you will be contacted to say that it’s a phone free event. Tommy hired extra staff to implement this. He bought 1,000 of the Yondr pouches and everyone who enters the bar is given one and their phone is locked into it by a staff member, to be released only when the gig is over.

If you need your phone for a medical reason you will be given a wristband identifying you as a special case and your phone will be unlocked instantly if necessary.

Great idea!


Sad stories and beautiful Jewellery

Doon Cottage photographed by Kevin Danagher; Photo is in the National Library


Celtic Art…A Listowel Connection

Many knitting stitches are inspired by celtic knots and patterns. This is the nearest I get to being a celtic artist.

A young lady who grew up in Listowel and is now a highly rated goldsmith/silversmith was surely influenced by her Listowel surroundings as she walked our streets.

Eileen Moylan in her workshop. Photo TG 4

This is Eileen’s Celtic love-knot pendant.

“Two hearts intertwine through an infinity symbol to create a distinctive Celtic design. With no beginning and no end, this Celtic love knot represents eternal love.”

The unique Celtic Torc Pendant crafted from solid gold.

“This striking piece carries intricate panels of Celtic knotwork. With no beginning and no end, the Celtic knot offers a symbol of eternity. The ancient torc, believed to have been worn as symbol of protection, as a talisman for protection.”

These are just 2 pieces from Eileen’s online shop. She also handcrafts beautiful custom pieces for clients at home and abroad in her studio in Macroom.


A Sad Event Commemorated in a play

A Play, The Bell Ringer  by Charlie McCarthy had its first staging in Schoolyard Theatre Charleville on Feb 2 2023. It is a reminder of one of the saddest events to ever happen in this country outside of wartime.

Photo…Schoolyard Theatre on Facebook

Gerard Greaney researched this disaster. Here is his comprehensive story with all its heart rending and poignant details.

“Here is a piece I wrote  a few years ago on  the Cinema Fire Disaster in Dromcollogher when 48 people, over 10% of the town’s population, perished in a blaze.” Gerard Greaney

Cinema fire.

On Sunday 5th September 1926, forty-eight people lost their lives when a fire broke out during a film show in Dromcollogher, Co. Limerick. The two films, which had been brought from Cork by a projectionist hired by a local man, were shown in the hall in Church St. This was on the upper floor of a building used for storing hardware and access to it was by an external timber ladder, fixed to the wall to form a stairs. The hall, which had been used for meetings and entertainments for a number of years, was a rectangular room with a separate small dressing room area in the right hand rear corner.

The show began about 9:15 p.m. after Benediction had finished in the local church, at which many of the audience had been present. Estimates of the attendance varied but it appears that at least 150 people crowded into the hall, many of them children.

At around 10:00 p.m. as the second film was showing, one of the reels, which lay unprotected on a table near the door, went on fire when a candle on the table overturned and set it alight. The people immediately rushed to the single narrow door from which the ladder/stairs descended. Those seated nearest the exit escaped as the fire spread rapidly. Others fled to the rear of the hall where the two windows were located and they crowded into the small dressing room area. Some got out through the window and jumped on to a nearby hay rick. Unfortunately, the window exit was blocked when a woman became trapped in it. Within minutes the floor of the hall collapsed and the victims were hurtled to the ground where they died from the combination of burns, asphyxiation and shock. 46 people were dead within fifteen minutes. Two survivors later died from their injuries.

More than half of the victims were aged under twenty-five, nineteen were less than twenty years old and fifteen were children. The two youngest victims were both just seven years of age, Thomas Noonan and John Kenny. The Kenny family of Carraward also lost a second son, John’s twelve-year-old brother, James. The oldest to die was sixty eight year old Mary Turner from Gardenfield. Jeremiah Buckley, a fifty-two year old national teacher, his wife, Ellen (47), daughter Bridie (10), sister-in-law Kate Wall (45) and their maid, Nora Kirwan (18) all perished. This entire household on the Square was wiped out. The family terrier was to be seen whining at the door next day. Bridie would have celebrated her eleventh birthday on the following Thursday. Thomas Buckley (62), Woodfield, Jeremiah’s brother, also died. The Buckleys were the only married couple among the victims.

Margaret Collins (60) and Kate Collins (58) died along with Kate’s daughter (22) and two nieces from Sheshive, Nora (22) and Myra O’Sullivan (21). There were two sad cases of the death of young mothers and two of their children. Mary Barrett (34) of Carraward and two of her five children, Mollie (10) and Tom, Anne Fitzgerald (37) of Pike St. with two of her three children, daughter Margaret (10) and son Daniel. Equally poignant was the death of Kate McAuliffe (56), her fifteen-year-old daughter Mary and eleven-year-old son John, leaving Florence McAuliffe (53) of Church St. without his entire family. Mary B. O’Brien (51) from Kells died alongside her only child, Nellie (18) leaving an invalid, wheelchair bound husband. 

Patrick O’Donnell (62), Pike St. stayed in the hall looking for his wife Katie and young daughter Mary unaware that they had escaped through the window. Mary (O’ Flynn) was the last known survivor and passed away a few years ago. Among the other victims was May O’Brien (24) of Church St. who was engaged to marry local Garda John Davis, Nora Mary Hannigan (11), a London resident, who was visiting relatives in the town and Violet Irwin (15) from the nearby village of Feenagh. Edward Stack (22), a farm labourer working for the O’Sullivan family in Mondellihy, was from Duagh, Co. Kerry and John J. Walsh was a national teacher in Milford. All the other victims were from the parish of Dromcollogher. Most of these lived in the village itself. Ten were from Pike St.

One of the victims had not even been at the show. William Savage, a 56-year-old butcher and farmer, who lived across the road, was incorrectly told that his two sons were trapped and he rushed into the burning building from which he never emerged. Robert Aherne, a 31-year-old publican, also lived in Church St. He had only been married for five months. He escaped with his wife Nora, who was expecting their first child but returned to try to rescue his mother-in-law, Anne O’Callaghan and perished along with her. Thomas Buckley a retired schoolteacher and Jim Quaid, 39-year-old farmer stayed in the building helping others to escape. They both lost their own lives.


Newspaper photo of funeral

Special permission was obtained from the Bishop of Limerick, Most Rev. Dr. David Keane, to allow a communal burial of all the victims in the church grounds. The funeral Mass on Tuesday 7th of September was attended by the bishop and by William T. Cosgrave, President of the Executive Council, as the head of the government was then styled. The parish priest of Dromcollogher, John Canon Begley, presided while the celebrant of the mass was Rev. Daniel O’Callaghan son of one of the victims, Mary Anne O’Callaghan (61).

A benevolent fund was established and money poured in from all over the world. Those affected received various amounts, some as lump sums, most sent in instalments every quarter to the dependants of the victims, and to some of the injured survivors, until the 1950’s. For many the burning money was a much needed and welcome supplement  

In the 1940’s the site of the hall was bought by the relatives of the victims and given to Limerick County Council who erected an attractively designed Memorial Library there, where framed photographs, contemporary newspapers and other materials relating to the tragedy are displayed. A large Celtic style cross marks the communal grave in the nearby churchyard on which are inscribed the names and dates of birth of all forty-eight victims, innocent men, women and children whose lives were so unexpectedly and cruelly ended on that September night of horror, ninety seven years ago.

The mass grave in Dromcollogher Church yard where all but two of the victims are buried

Photo online

Names of the Deceased

William R. Aherne Mary Barrett Mary Barrett

Thomas Barrett Bridget Buckley Ellen Buckley

Jeremiah Buckley Thomas Buckley Kate Collins

Kate Collins Margaret Collins Mary Egan

Anne Fitzgerald Daniel Fitzgerald Margaret Fitzgerald

Nora-Mary Hannigan Maurice Hartnett Daniel Horan

Violet Irwin James Kenny John Kenny

James Kirwan Margaret Kirwan Nora Kirwan

Nora Long Catherine McAuliffe John McCarthy

Mary McAuliffe Anthony McAuliffe Ellen Madden

Thomas Noonan Mary-Ita Nunan Ellen O’Brien

Mary O’Brien  Mary B. O’Brien  Mary O’Callaghan

Patrick O’Donnell Eugene O’Sullivan Mary O’Sullivan

Nora O’Sullivan James Quaid William Quirke

William Savage  Bridget Sheehan  Edward Stack

Mary Turner  Kate Wall  John J. Walsh


Chapel on the Hill

I recently bought a new car. I bought it in O’Callaghan’s Kanturk. This is a view from the forecourt of the car dealership; the picturesque old Protestant church is now unoccupied but still beautiful.

Families like Sheltons, Prouse, Sharpe and Bolster worshipped there in my time. It was, of course, forbidden for us Catholics to cross the threshold!


A Historian and An Artist

UCC in January 2023

I took a trip down memory lane recently. I visited by Alma Mater, UCC. The many changes have blended in beautifully and much of the campus was recognisable from my student days.

I entered by the Gaol gate. Any bikes that were here in my day were the students’ own.

In the 1970s the gate lodge was just that and the gatekeeper lived there.

The arch looking towards the quad was just the same.

The stoney corridor with its Ogham stones was where our exam results were posted for all to see.

The Aula Maxima was used for study and as an exam centre.


Listowel Library

The library is a great resource. It seems to get better with each passing month.

February’s treat for us is a series of talks by local historian, Vincent Carmody. Vincent is a fount of knowledge about so many aspects of Listowel. These are bound to be great events.


Listowel Emmetts

Listowel Emmetts have shared a 2002 letter from John B. Keane to Stephen Stack, chair of the committee fundraising to develop Sheehy Park,


The Influence of Celtic Art

The place where you live, the sights you see everyday, inevitably influence you. There is a theory that people who live in Listowel become writers by osmosis. It appears to me that people of an artist bent who spend time in Listowel become artists in the celtic genre.

Literally every street corner is adorned with scrolls and swirls in the style of the old celtic artists.

One such artist was Vincent O’Connor

V.L O’Connor was born in Church St, Listowel on July 8th 1888 to Listowel natives, Daniel O’Connor and Elizabeth (Bessie) Wilmot. His father was a retired Sergeant Major of the 1st battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment. The family moved to Dingle where Daniel took up the position of Station Master. On his death in 1898 the family relocated to Tralee where Bessie ran a hotel on Nelson St.

Vincent was a very accomplished artist from an early age and took up a teaching post in the Christian Brothers in 1904. He also studied art under William Orpen.

Vincent emigrated to the USA in 1915 sailing on the Lusitania. He taught at Notre Dame university for a number of years. In 1916 he published a book of 18 caricatures of notable people of the time, including Douglas Hyde, Alice Stopford Green, GB Shaw and others.

When the Irish government was invited to take part in the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair, also known as the Century of Progress International Exposition, they were initially reticent. Tariffs and trade barriers meant there was little prospect of any financial gain. Eventually they decided to participate because ‘considerations such as those connected with national publicity and prestige might outweigh the more tangible considerations of trading advantage’.

Ireland sent a cultural and industrial display that was housed in the monumental Travel and Transport building. When the Fair organizers decided to run the event again in 1934, numerous countries—including the Irish Free State—did not participate and their places were taken by private concessions. However, there were a number of events that the Irish State did participate in during the second manifestation, the most prominent was an open air theatrical pageant representing Irish history, The Pageant of the Celt. Irish Consul General in Chicago, Daniel J. McGrath, was on the executive committee of the production.

The Pageant took place on the 28th and 29th August, 1934, at Chicago’s main sports stadium, Soldier’s Field, in front of large ‘marvellous’ crowds. Although the pageant is credited to Irish- American attorney John V. Ryan, it was most likely co-developed with its narrator Micheál MacLiammóir, to whose work it bears similarities. Some contemporary reports credit it solely to MacLiammóir. The Pageant was produced by Hilton Edwards and covered the period of Irish history from pre-Christian times to the Easter Rising of 1916 and it had almost two thousand participants. Subjects like the imperfect resolution to the War of Independence with Britain in 1921 and the subsequent Civil War were still fresh in people’s memory and, as in the earlier MacLiammóir pageants, were avoided.

The program itself has a richly decorated cover and small illustrations and decorated capitals throughout by Irish-American artist Vincent Louis O’Connor (c.1884-1974). The cover contrasts Celtic Ireland with modern Chicago. Round towers are juxta positioned with skyscrapers, separated by clouds, both icons of their time and the spirit of their respective ages. A man and a woman in distinctive ancient Irish dress festooned with a Tara brooch, stand on Ireland’s green shore facing the Atlantic. These and Saint Brendan’s ship anchored, trademarked with a Celtic cross, signifying the Irish-American connection. This was an Irish pageant suitable for diaspora consumption, with its mix of the mythical and ancient, cultured and catholic, distinctive and unique, oppressed but not beaten, leading to phoenix-like revolution and rebuilding.

David O’Sullivan found all of this information for us and he also sourced these obituaries to the artist.


Old Father Time

I happened to be in the Bon Secours hospital in Cork on January 24 2023. The hospital was celebrating its anniversary.

Over the years The Bons has been good to me. An anniversary is a time for reflection. Not all my visits there were happy ones!


The Clock of Life is Wound but Once

The song My Grandfather’s Clock dates back to 1876. It tells the story from a child’s perspective of a clock bought for his grandfather on the day of his birth. Mysteriously it stopped working on the day he died. Maybe it was only a mystery to the child. I am old enough to remember the custom of manually stopping the clocks when someone in the house died.

My grandfather’s clock was too large for the shelf,
So it stood ninety years on the floor;
It was taller by half than the old man himself,
Though it weighed not a pennyweight more.
It was bought on the morn of the day that he was born,
And was always his treasure and pride;
But it stopp’d short — never to go again —
When the old man died.

Ninety years without slumbering 
(tick, tick, tick, tick),

His life seconds numbering,
(tick, tick, tick, tick),I

It stopp’d short — never to go again —

When the old man died.

This grandfather clock has stood in The Bons in Cork for as long as I can remember.


They’re Teasing Us

Some of the people coming to this year’s Writers’ Week. Put the dates in your diary. It looks like a good one.


Movie of the Moment

Banshees of Inisheerin phot from the internet

It’s all about the movies these days as the Irish film industry is having a moment.

When I think of films I think of the late Kieran Gleeson. He would be in his element just now, lapping up all the movie news.

I am printing here an old post from 2016. It is Billy Keane’s tribute to Kieran, our man of cinema, published in the Irish Independent after Kieran’s untimely death.

Billy Keane’s Tribute to Kieran Gleeson Irish Independent Jan 25 2016

Kieran Gleeson’s eyes lit up as he explained the background to the film he was showing, and you could see he was excited – excited about sharing all he knew with his audience there in his three-screen cinema in a small country town.

There was always an introduction before his cinema club films on a Thursday night. This was his night, the night when he got to choose the films he loved. Kieran spoke as all the knowledgeable do – in simple, easy-to-understand language.

Kieran has been in love with the cinema ever since he stood up
on the piled-high metal boxes that were used for storing magic reels. There, he was the spellbound kid looking out through the porthole in the projectionist’s room with his dad and grandad in their country cinema in Cappamore, County Limerick. Afterwards, he would be full of excitement and full of talk.

Kieran ‘the man’ is still ‘the boy’ in the projection room.
Often, we would be kept on after the crowd had gone home for a discussion about the movie he was showing. He knew his stuff, did Kieran. There was no showing off, just teaching and sharing. The soft, gentle but passionate voice, hoarse from too much talk, is gone for good now.

Kieran’s life is a silent movie. He breathes with the help of a
machine. Our small town hero’s chest rises and falls with every breath. It’s as
if he’s a marathon runner at the end of a gruelling race. Kieran Gleeson who
rescued, owns and loves our local cinema here in Listowel – has advanced Motor Neurone Disease.

But he’s still communicating. Kieran writes a little, but only with great effort. He sends text messages, nods in agreement or moves his eyes
towards something he wants you to read.

Kieran writes ’29’ on a sheet of paper and hands it to his wife,
Teresa. Did you ever notice it when two people feel and read each other’s
thoughts? They seem to instinctively know what the other person is thinking.
The bond has to be strong, but there’s more than just tuning in. The two must share the dream.

The 29 refers to January 29, 1987 – the day the cinema in
Listowel reopened under Kieran’s management.

The cinema had been closed for two years. Kieran was driving by
one day with his mother and he noticed a ‘For Sale’ sign up over The Astor
Cinema. There and then, he made up his mind to buy the rat-infested wreck. A local businessman told Kieran he was “absolutely mad” – and maybe he
was. Small town cinemas were going the way of small shops. There are only a few independent cinemas left in Ireland. The prophesy of failure made Kieran all the more determined to succeed. He worked day and night and, bit by bit, the cinema began to pay for itself. His mother helped out every Sunday when the cinema was at it’s busiest.

Kieran opened three screens and he had the best of films showing
at the same time as the big cities. He was one of the first to embrace
digitalisation and encouraged Jimmy Deenihan, the then Arts Minister, to
provide grant assistance to a number of cinemas.

Hard-up parents were given deals. Kids who didn’t have enough
money were never refused. Kieran often declined the big money-making movies if he felt they were bad. He never overcharged for tickets, sweets or popcorn. Director Ger Barrett – who is now about to release his third movie, ‘Brain on Fire’, later this year – was allowed in for free. Ger premiered his last movie, ‘Glassland’, in Listowel – and the night was turned into a tribute to his mentor and friend. Actor Jack Reynor came along and Kieran was so buzzed up that the illness was put into remission for a night. It was like the football coach who sees the player he trained as a kid step o collect an All-Ireland medal.

I was only three, but I remember being brought to The Astor for
‘Summer Holiday’ by Bernie Buckley – who was babysitting me then, and still does. Dad and I cried when Davy Crockett died at the Alamo. It was here I had the first lip-kiss in the back seat.

Sometimes, when our kids were young, we’d be there at the
pictures and, out of the corner of my eye, I could see Kieran standing in the
aisle at the back, taking it all in. He was enjoying the kids enjoying the
picture show. The light flickered over his smiling face and, if ever there was
man who was happy at work, well, it was him. There and then, and always. After all, he gave up his studies in accountancy to help run the family cinema in Cappaghmore when his dad died suddenly from a heart attack.

There have been tough times and, last year, thousands of euro
were stolen from the safe by heartless thieves. Teresa is trying to get to
grips with the details of running a cinema, but she’s learning fast. Best of
all, she and Kieran are determined to keep the cinema going. “Our staff
have been so good to us,” she says.

Kieran had been checking out the possibility of live streaming
concerts and sporting events. He had big plans.

The kids come in from school and Kieran gets a smile out.
Teresa, I know, struggles to come to terms with how it is that such a decent
man suffers so much. She is loyal to him as a full-time carer on a break from
her job in the civil service, and loyal to his vision for the family-run
cinema. Such is the practicality of true love and mutual respect.

Teresa sent me a link to a Radio Kerry interview with John
Herlihy, where Kieran speaks of his love of the sounds of the old cinema
projection room with the 35mm reels. “We treasure that now,” she
says. “It’s all we have of his voice.”

He shuffles in his wheelchair to attract my attention. He shows
me the screen on his phone. This week, Kieran is showing ‘The Revenant’ and ‘Creed’, as well as kids’ movies. Still promoting his cinema as he fights for every movement. There is such a powerful, undefeated will within him. As I leave, I kiss my friend gently on the head and thank him for all he has done for all of us.

Irish Independent

Kieran was a lovely kind man. His screen 3 was the only one which was wheelchair accessible. Kieran offered to show any film which normally was showing in One or Two  in Screen 3 on a Monday night, just to suit Jim Cogan. All we had to do was ask.

It was an offer we never took him up on but we greatly appreciated the kind gesture.


Age Reversal

by Mattie Lennon

Luke O’ Neill (‘though twas not his intention)

Has, nevertheless, caused me tension.

For I know age-reversal

Is not just a rehearsal.

I’m afraid that I might lose the  Pension


Old Ways

There’s no place like home. We always played 45 in our house. Last week I got to play again as I was back home and the newest generation are learning the ropes.

Takes me back 60 years or more!


A Great New CD

I’m still a cd person. I’m thrilled to tell you that one of my favourite singer songwriters has recorded a cd of his own songs.

John’s Japanese Knotweed and Free Travel songs are my favourites so far but The Slopes of my Own Cnoc an Óir is growing on me.

I made the purchase as I spotted John up a ladder helping out a friend.

John and Eddie Moylan posed for me. Eddie undertook a bit of selling and I was doing a bit of promotional work for the musician.

Everyone needs a good team.

If you dont happen to run into John to buy your cd, you could email him at to order one.


Celtic Art

Since I’ve started this study of Celtic Art in town I’m seeing the influence of Pat McAuliffe everywhere.

The Central Hotel has the image of Eire as a woman in the style of Róisín Dubh or Caitlin Ní hUallacháin surrounded by the harp, the round tower and the wolfhound.

The Rising Sun/ Fáinne Geal an Lae is a symbol of the Celtic revival, the language, the music and the art.

Everywhere there is celtic style strap work.


Another Door Closing

Mary at Chic has commenced her closing down sale. It’s sad to see another Listowel business going.


A Thought to Reflect on


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