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 2 of 7


Wild Garlic in 2017


Now and Then


Listowel Writers’ Week 2022

In 2019 we took a stroll around The Square with contributions from singers, readers and players. These are the kind people who helped me out then.

They are Paddy MacElligott, Clíona McKenna, Dave O’Sullivan and Éamon ÓMurchú, Mary Fagan, Mary Moylan and Mike Moriarty

This year we will have a slight change of personnel but we’re all looking forward to doing it all again.

Listowel Writers’ Week Morning Walk around Listowel Town Square is planned for Friday June 3 2022 starting at The Listowel Arms at 10.00 a.m.

No charge

A little taster here;

Paddy sings Isle of Hope

Friday promises to be a great day at Writers’ Week. Why not come to town early for the walk and stay for the day. Poets’ Corner in Christy’s with the wittiest of M.Cs, Sean Lyons, starts at 9.00p.m.

Some of the people in the 2019 audience have told me that they will be back again.


Edel Quinn

I come from Kanturk in Co. Cork but my home was in the parish of Castlemagner. I was back there last weekend for my lovely grand niece’s First Holy Communion.

Jessica Ahern on her First Holy Communion Day, May 21 2022

Castlemagner is also the parish of Edel Quinn and they have erected a little grotto to her in the Church Grounds.


From Pres. Yearbook 2006


Laundry for the Elderly

The generous volunteers who work in this vital service attended their annual mass and get together recently.

Standing; Helen Kenny, Majella Stack, Margaret Leahy (hidden), Jenny Tarrant , Eileen Sheehy,  Anne Doran, Bridie ORourke,  Josephine Cronin, Mary Commerford,  Eleanor Cronin, Joan Kenny,  Olwen Keane Stack, Joan O’Donnell,  Bridie O’Connor, Joan Buckley,  Jean Quille, Anne O’Connor,  Margaret Murphy

Sitting; Nora Scanlon , Mary Walsh, Julie Gleeson, Helen Moylan, Fr.  Jack O’Donnell, Mary Hanlon, Norita Keane Killeen 


St. Michael’s

Photo; Éamon ÓMurchú in Bantry


St. Michael’s Centenary Gala Day

Mike Hannon has shared lots of photos recently of a gala day to mark 100 years of St. Michael’s in Listowel. A big day of fun and games, stalls and the army band rounded off a weekend of celebrating.

Babe Joe Wilmott
Beatrice and Jack Carmody
Breda O’Mahony and Bill Hartnett
Fr. Antony Gaughan and

I have memories of that weekend too. On Saturday we had a mass with a raft of priests who were old boys of the college concelebrating. We had a gala dinner and then the big day on Sunday.

I was one of the volunteers manning the food and crafts stall. Health and safety regulations were more lax in those days. We sold eggs still warm from the hens’ bottoms. We had home made cakes and jams and all sorts of knitted and hand sewn goods, bric a brac and white elephants galore.

John OFlahery was in charge of our committee.

One of our number was the lovely Elsie Geale. Elsie was scrupulously honest and this caused a bit of the bother on the day before the fair.

We had collected egg boxes for weeks to box the promised (by the parents of the country boys) fresh eggs that had been pledged for the Sunday morning. Of course the egg boxes had the names and branding of the egg companies who had supplied them to the shops. No way would Elsie tolerate us selling our eggs in boxes that declared they came from somewhere else. So, at the height of our preparations, we had to cut rectangles of wallpaper and paste them over the names on the lids of all the boxes.

I think the competition was to guess the weight of the cake.


I had Visitors

Aoife read about everything that’s on during Writers’ Week 2022. Then she chewed the brochure.

It’s decided. She is coming back on June 1 for the festival.

Aoife and her Mammy, Clíona

That smile says, “I have my daddy exactly where I want him, wrapped around my little finger.”

We took her to see the changes in The Square. In fairness she did not really remember how it used to look so she was happy enough with the new set up.


From Pres Yearbook 2006

In 2006 the magazine committee decided to ask a former teacher, Aileen Hayes, now Scanlan, for her memories of her time in Pres.

Here is an extract from her article.


Two Listowel Men

Billy Keane and Jimmy Moloney


Family, Theatre and Other Stuff

Photo; Teddy Sugrue of Mallow Camera Club


More local drama in St. John’s this week. The old ones are the best!


Family reunion at Easter

Lovely to be back in the bosom of my family. Molly Madra makes herself at home on my gilet.

I took on the Rummikub champion again. My 3 last tiles are hopeless, all over the place and I am heading for defeat. Cora, because she is a lovely child, shows me how to win. So a victory of sorts, at last.

This is us on a night out. Remember the two boys at the front in the photo? Our days in Listowel in the Lilac Studio, Kennedy’s Pet Farm, The Donkey Sanctuary and Athea or Tarbert Fairy Trails seem very long ago now.


Last of My Extracts from Pres. Yearbook 2002 ’03


Sr. Consolata Interview Concluded



More Second Floor Embellishments


Sr. Consolata Interview concluded

This is the last part of the interview with Sr. Consolata Bracken, published in the Pres. Secondary School Yearbook 2009. Listowel is very lucky to have this extraordinary lady. I wish her many more years of ministry among us.

Photographs for this article were taken by John Stack.

With SVP volunteer, Eileen O’Sullivan in the SVP shop.



I noticed that on William Street all sign that the EBS was ever there is already gone.



In Cork I beat Cora, the champion of Rummikub,

It wasn’t all fun and games. We did homework too, with a little help from Molly Madra.

My youngest grandchild, Aoife enjoying an outing with her grandmother and godmother.


Looking for a Book Recommendation?

Here is the short list for the big prize. I loved, loved, loved Claire Keegan’s Small Things Like These.


St. Patrick’s Day 2022

March 17 2022

Liam Brennan as St. Patrick, the flags, the crowds, the music, the sunshine…a St. Patrick’s Day to remember in Listowel.


Shamrocks’, Bicycles, Ukraine flags…March 17 2022 in Listowel


Some people I met

Everyone was in great form, delighted to be outdoors and back together again. St. Patrick’s Day 2022 had lifted the spirits of everyone I met.


Meanwhile in Malahide

Éamon ÓMurchú took these shots at an event in Malahide. fireworks are notoriously hard to photograph. These are brilliant images.


I had some gymnasts in the house

On a beautiful sunny evening in March in Ballybunion you wouldn’t know if you were on your head or your heels.


A Few Local Placenames

Fourhane, Fuarthán…There is cold spring well here which gave this downland its name.

Ballynagowan…Baile na Gabhan The home of the blacksmith

Kilmorna….Cill Mórna The church of Morna. Legend has it that there was a graveyard here and a the remains of a lady called Mórna were found there.

Tanavala…An tSeanbhaile, the old homestead


Ballydonoghue Bardic Festival 2022

One for the diary1


Bono’s poem for Ukraine

Oh, St Patrick he drove out the snakes
With his prayers but that’s not all it takes
For the snake symbolises
An evil that rises
And hides in your heart, as it breaks
And the evil has risen my friends
From the darkness that lives in some men
But in sorrow and fear
That’s when saints can appear
To drive out those old snakes once again
And they struggle for us to be free
From the psycho in this human family
Ireland’s sorrow and pain
Is now the Ukraine
And St Patrick’s name now Zelenskiy

“I’ve a tradition of sending a limerick to [Pelosi’s] St Patrick’s Day lunch over the years,” Bono said on Twitter. “This year the limerick is irregular & not funny at all. We stand with the people of Ukraine & their leader.” Bono also said the poem “wasn’t written to be published”, but after much attention he released it on U2’s Twitter page.


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