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


In the Listowel Library Plaza in July 2023


Eleanor Belcher Memories Continued

The Miss Bunyans had a knitting business in the house next door to the hotel but I don’t think they lived there. At the back, my Dad had a boxing school where he encouraged young lads to box. Mr Fitzmaurice’s office was next but the family consisting of Mary & David, again our age,  lived at the top of Church Street. The Enright Dental   practice  was the next house which was lived in by  Toddy the younger dentist and his wife Peggy and their boys who  were younger than we were.

Mr McElligott lived in the first of the two houses  with steps up. He rented the house from the Dennehys who lived in Singapore but of course he went back out to Mount Rivers also. Dr Dennehy came home sometimes with his daughter Mona . He had been a great friend of my father and encouraged him to go to Trinity College, Dublin. Dr McGuire worked from the next house and the contrast between the two houses was striking as Mrs Edith McGuire kept that house looking lovely . We were very much in awe of her as she was English and considered exotic! The four McGuire boys were younger than we were but of course also ended up  playing in the Square. Sitting on those steps is a fond memory as copies of the Beano and Dandy were shared. We were not allowed comics by my mother so this was great. 


Changing Times

Wolfgang and Anita Mertens with me in Listowel Arms Hotel in May 2023

Wolfgang Mertens noticed that change and modernisation is a constant theme with me in my reflections. Wolfgang has studied Bryan MacMahon and he sent me these extracts from The Master. MacMahon also deals with the subject of changes he has seen in his lifetime.


A Limerick Hurling Poster Before the Final

They skinned them alright. Congrats to our neighbours.


A Fact

The first ever football World Cup competition began in Uruguay in 1930.



A Listowel Lacemaker


Kerry’s Growing Population

1 Comment

  1. Siobhan Foley

    Hi Mary,
    Reading Eleanor Belcher’s memories is a delight. A strong sense of a family constellation comprising the families around the square as they grew up and grew old together arises from her warm account of life as a child in Listowel. If we can continue that connection in our own communities, we will regain our sense of oneness and neighbourliness.

    You are looking lovely in the picture with Anita and Wolfgang too.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén