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: Poem Page 2 of 27

Loving Listowel Library

Market Street in August 2023


I Love the Library

When I was a child of primary school age I discovered the public library. All through my growing up years summer was for reading. I lived about 2 miles outside the town. I often cycled to and from town twice in a day to exchange my library books. I read all of Enid Blyton, Patricia Lynch, Canon Sheehan and later Georgette Heyer and Agatha Christie.

Now I live within a stone’a throw of the library. Living my childhood dream!

Unlike my childhood one, Listowel Library is a marvellous place. It has books, magazines and papers, local study section, computers and puzzles.

AND it has this marvellous mystery box where people leave their old books for you to pick up for free and you could literally find a treasure there.

I found this rare, long out of date book there. It is Listowel’s Mick McCarthy’s account of his time labouring in London. If Mick writes even half as well as his brother, Seán, this will be brilliant. I can’t wait!

Thank you to the donor and to Listowel Library.


Main Street, Listowel

Lynch’s Corner where Main Street joins William Street/Sráid an Phiarsaigh

Who are Tim and Sue and where are they now? The date looks like 19?? There’s a story there if we only had a sleuth to find it.

Main Street, like so many other Listowel streets has 2 names. Unlike most it has 2 different Irish versions of its English name, Main Street.

And still local people call it The Small Square


Resilience in Verse


Today’s Fact

There is an old English word called trumpery.

The meaning of trumpery is;

Trumpery comes from the Old French tromperie, with its root of tromper, “to deceive.” Definitions of trumpery. ornamental objects of no great value. synonyms: falderol, folderal, frill, gimcrack, gimcrackery, nonsense.



Flowers at the courthouse in August 2023


The Last Picture Show

The posters are faded now. The memories remain.


Uh, Oh!

This junction is no longer a roundabout. It has traffic lights now. The roundabout sign has now been removed. The junction is taking a while to get used to.


Another Concert

Kerry Evening Post, Wednesday, 04 January, 1899; Page: 3


Arrangements are being made for the holding of a grand evening concert of vocal and instrumental music in the hall of the Total Abstinence Society, Listowel, on Wednesday next, in aid of the funds of this very deserving organization.

The work of organizing the entertainment was entrusted to the Rev P Courtney, the respected President of the Society, who has been most successful in his energetic efforts. He has been fortunate not only in procuring the services of the most talented of local artistes, but also in enlisting the invaluable assistance of Mr Willie Lee and other distinguished vocalists of equal merit.

The idea has been to make the concert the most successful ever held in Listowel from an artistic point of view, and having regard to the material at his disposal there is no reason to fear that Father Courtney will not be entirely successful in his ambitious exertions on behalf of the Society over which he so worthily presides.


The Primary Cert

This certificate of a man called Seán OConghaile was shared by his grandson online. This man, like so many others finished his education with his Primary exam in 1939. He emigrated to the US in 1948.


Good Advice in Verse


Today’s Fact

A lion’s roar is, like an adult human’s voice, unique to the individual. The roar is used to warn off intruders and to gather together scattered members of the flock. An adult lion’s roar can be heard as far away as 5 miles.


A Tribulation of Blogging

This is my statistics page for Listowel Connection. It shows that on weekdays I have usually between 500 and 1000 page views.

Yesterday at 5.00 pm I had 2996 page views. Danger here.

The last time this happened the blog was unavailable for 24 hours. It means that Listowel Connection is under attack from bots. When the server spots this suspicious activity it shuts down the page (a denial of service) and I get a message telling me that I can’t access the page for now. If this happens we will be off air until the coast is clear again.

Sorry folks. If this happens there is nothing I can do about it. You won’t need to tell me either. I’ll know!


Listowel and Ballybunion

Listowel Town Square, August 2023


Quirky Sights in Listowel

At the back of Brosnan’s pub.

On the wall at Pierce and Fitzgibbon


From the Newspaper Archives

(thanks to Jer Kennelly)

Kerry Evening Post Wednesday, 01 December, 1897; Page: 4


One of the most successful concerts ever hold in Listowel was the grand evening entertainment which came off in the Hall of the Total Abstinence Society, Listowel, on Wednesday evening. From every point of view the concert was a most pronounced success. The fact that the entertainment was held under the auspices of the society, and in aid of the funds of the organisation, fully accounts for the large and fashionable attendance ; but the enthusiasm of the audience can be accounted for only by the fact that the various contributions were performed in the most capable and finished manner. The programme was varied and interesting in character, judiciously drafted and calculated to appeal to every taste. In addition to local artistes, a number of other ladies and gentlemen also contributed to the programme.

The vocal items were rendered in fine style, and did not fail to draw enthusiastic plaudits from the audience; but the success of the entertainment must, to a great extent, be attributed to the recitals by the Misses Rahilly, and the instrumental contributions, which rank amongst the finest performances ever witnessed at a local concert. Every one, of course, expected that Miss Florence Rahilly would sustain her widespread reputation in a department which she has made peculiarly her own; but the excellence of the performance of Miss Tessie Rahilly, on the occasion of her first public appearance, took everyone by surprise. Needless to say, her reception was of the warmest character. The instrumental items: particularly the contributions of the Misses Creagh, were rendered in a style which betoken splendid musical ability and an appreciation of the composer’s work as admirable as it is rare, at a local entertainment, and which reflects infinite credit on local talent, which never showed up in better form than on Wednesday night.

The arrangements left nothing to be desired with the result that, though the hall was crowded to its utmost capacity, no inconvenience was caused. A special word of praise is surely due to Mrs Fitzpatrick, to whom, in a great measure, the success of the entertainment is to be attributed. She conducted the practice meetings with a degree of success, which only wide experience and splendid abilities as an instrumentalist and vocalist rendered possible. It is to be hoped, she will be long associated with our local entertainments.—Correspondent.


A Gift of Ink….Update

Philip O’Carroll is sorted. Many people have offered him digitised versions of the LP . Philip and his family are remembered with great fondness in Listowel and many of his old friends were only too willing to help him. Thank you everyone who offered to source the album for him.



Aspects of Ballybunion

The Beach Mission, always a reliable on the beach in August is back this year.

Signage on the beach has greatly improved. Clear flagging of areas of rip current means that the beach is now safer for everyone.

A Feature of the beach in recent years is beach art. It is a lovely way to send greetings for a birthday, wedding other celebrity occasion.

Seats are often memorials where a visitor can rest and remember someone who loved this spot.


Everywhere looks better with Flowers

William Street, Listowel, August 2023


Will They Ever Learn?

Bike stands at the new public toilet in Market Street

A few short steps away, bikes parked on the footpath against the shop window at Spar on Sunday August 20 2023


Railway Station Signs

Shared online by Olive Whelan


From the Newspaper Archive

( Thank you, Jer Kennelly)

Kerry Sentinel Wednesday, 11 July, 1906; Page: 2

Concert in Listowel

On Friday night a grand concert was given in the Gymnasium Hall, Listowel, in aid of a highly deserving local object, the maintenance of the National brass band. Having regard to the fine Summer weather, which was calculated to militate against an entertainment of an indoor character, the attendance was large and highly appreciated the various items, every one of which was warmly received and encored. It would be invidious to distinguish between the artistes, all of whom showed considerable merit, but the dance items by the Misses Kirby and Master T Breen, Killarney, deserve a special word of praise, while the contributions for which the band, under the capable conductorship of Mr J Hennessy, was responsible could not fail to evoke well-merited appreciation.

The following was the programme—Part I—Overture by band ; song, “Some Day I’ll Wander Back Again,” Mr MI Keane; song, “The Flight of Ages.” Miss Buckley ; violin solo, ” The Coulin.” Mr G Caball. Tralee; song, ” The Irish Emigrant,” Mr J O’Reilly; recitation, “An Incident of ’98,” Miss May Kirby ; song, ” Ever so Far Away,” Miss E Creagh ; skirt dance, Misses May and Joe Kirby ; song, ” Little Dolly Day Dream,” Mr M Dalton.

Part IT—Pianoforte duet, the Misses Kirby ; dance, Irish reel, Master T Breen, Killarney; song, “Pansy Faces,” Mr-M Keane; violin solo. ” Killarney” Mr G Caball; song, ” Dermot Asthore,” Miss Buckley; song.” The Idler,” Mr M Dalton; dance, Irish jig, Miss Joe Kirby ; song, ” The Memory of the Dead,” Mr J O’Reilly.

The accompaniments were skilfully played by Mrs O’Connor.


He “Walked with Kings but Kept the Common Touch”

A great read I bought for 50c in Vincent’s Listowel. Michael Parkinson got to meet so many interesting people, he lead a charmed life….and he could have been a miner! May he rest in peace.


Momento Mori


Believe it or Not

No plant or wild flower yet has ever produced a blossom that is completely black. Attempts to produce one artificially have failed.


Celebrations and Commiserations

In Childers’ Park in Summer 2023



Clíona McKenna on Church Street with her balloon from Sweet Times for her friend’s birthday.

When did balloons become a thing?

Nowadays you can’t have any celebration without balloons. It’s not just children’s parties, every party must have balloons, helium filled balloons that is.

Time was when you had to have cake or it wasn’t a proper celebration. Forget cake. Buy balloons.


Sonny Egan

This is Sonny with his cup for adult storytelling, which he won for the fourth time at Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann 2023 in Mullingar

There has never been anyone before quite like Sonny Egan. He is not just a champion storyteller, he is a musician, a singer, a podcaster, an actor and an expert on many subjects. He is generous with his talents and for years opened his door to everyone in his famous rambling house.

Congratulations on the well deserved win.


A Poem from Kanturk

Sometimes people read these posts years after they were written so I have to give you a bit of context again for the sake of those who come here via Google. Kanturk is my hometown and I spent a bit of time there recently and I loved the poems on the trees in O’Brien Street Park for Kanturk Arts Festival.

I love this one.

I was in this lovely O’Brien Street Park at 12 noon and the Angelus was tolling from the nearby church. The Angelus bell tolled the tune of The Bells of the Angelus. This is a hymn I learned in a Kanturk classroom over half a century ago. Memories, memories!


Enough Said

Beidh lá eile ag an bPaorach.



This is the very last time I’ll put up this picture. Thank you, Mary Horgan for all the pleasure it has given so many old girls.

Noreen Holly can name them all.

Noreen wrote to us from the U.S.A.

…I left Listowel in 1986 but it never left me.

I listen to all of the matches on Radio Kerry.  I was still home for most of the Kerry Ladies Glory Days. I remember Annette O’Connor, Matilda Mc Donagh and Nora O’Donoghue from O’Connell’s Avenue won All-Ireland medals with the Kerry Ladies before I left. I hope that the ladies do the job tomorrow. I will be listening with a heart bursting with pride and passion and will wear the Kerry jersey. Radio Kerry is my Sunday treat!

The photo that Muireann contributed names to was my class in primary school, all of whom I remember.  I am almost sure that it was Third Class which would make it 1970. I remember all of our teachers too! – Sr. Consolata, Babies Class, Sr. Clare High Infants, Sr. Bernadette First Class, Sr. Pierre, Second Class, Sr. Therese Third Class which Mrs. Enright took over at some stage during the year, Sr. Ronan, Sr. Kieran Fifth Class, Sr. Carmel Sixth Class that Grace O’Sullivan took over during the year. They were great days and I  have great memories of being in this class. I met up with Ann Lynch and Gerardine O’Connor in May. Gerardine flew in from England to visit Ann in New York and they came out to my place.  We hadn’t seen each other in donkey’s years but were great buddies while at school. we reminisced about school as if were back in that big two-story building on Convent Street with windows that were always getting stuck!

I am a principal of a primary school in Madison, New Jersey and I always tell the children that the best memories are made in primary school. I know that mine were!

Here goes with the names in the photo:

Back Row left to right.

Norma Doyle, Kate Kennelly, Joan Dore, Alice Dennehy, Avril O’Driscoll, Me Fein Noreen Holly, Noreen Canavan, Helen Daly, Mairead Hourigan, Dana Mulvihill, Christina O’Driscoll,  Mary Lynch, Muireann Moloney, Ann Gammell

Middle Row Left to Right

Caroline Barrett, Marie O’Halloran,  Margaret Faulkner, Eleanor Costello, Ann Kennelly, Mary Daly, Eleanor Brown, Margaret Stack,  Ann Lynch, Annette O’Gorman, Mary Dillon, Phyllis O’Mahoney

Front Row Left to Right

Kathleen Kelliher, Mary Cantillon, Anne Marie O’Donoghue, Gerardine O’Connor, Marie Greaney, Helen Heaphy, Eilish O’Neill, Breda O’Neill, Nell O’Sullivan, Audrey Sheehy, Margaret mc Donagh, Pat Mulligan, Joan Kelliher, Mary Heaphy

Thank you Sr. Noreen. If anyone would like to write to Sr. Noreen I have an email address and a land address. I won’t be putting them on here but if you contact me I’ll put you in touch.


A Fact

A rat can last longer without water than a camel can.


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