St. John’s Listowel on Dec 1 2019


Christmas Customs

From The Dúchas Schools collection

Christmas Night
In the district the preparation for Christmas began with cleaning and decoration of the house. Sprays of holly, ivy, and mistletoe are used for decorating the walls and windows. Christmas is usually a busy time for the shopkeepers for every housekeeper goes to the nearest town for a supply of provisions and dainties and Christmas candles.

Christmas Eve, one or perhaps two large candles are placed on each window. At nightfall the candles are lighted and the supper is prepared. The table is laid with all sorts of cakes and jams and fruits. Then a big fire is made and a log of bog deal placed in the centre of it – (yule-log). Then all sit down to a delicious meal.

When it is all over and everything in order each person is treated to whatever they wish, whiskey, wine or porter while the children have their own refreshment – lemonade, lemon-soda etc. Then where there are musical instruments in the house a few hours of enjoyment follow.
About ten o’clock the rosary is said and all are in bed for midnight.

Collector Nora M. Stack- Address, Lahardane, Co. Kerry


Muddy Paws has Moved

Muddy Paws Dog Grooming is now across the road beside Betty McGrath’s.


Blessing Ceremony at the Remembrance Tree

Keeping the flame, we gathered outside St. John’s on Sunday December 1 2019 to remember those we had lost to cancer. 

People braved the cold to gather in The Square.

People bought commemorative yellow ribbons and attached them to the tree.

Stalwarts of Listowel Hospice committee, Jenny Tarrant and John Croghan were there early.

 Local people who came out to remember

Helen Moylan ties on her ribbon

Elaine Lyons, one of the chief organisers of the project attaching a ribbon

Lovely to see children there too.

Máire Logue was offering tea and a biscuit.

Members of the local Hospice Committee in St. John’s Listowel on Dec 1 2019

Marie and Judith were remembering too.

Sr. Margaret and Canon Declan O’Connor, both of whom have lost family members in 2019.

Batt O’Keeffe explained what the tree was about and spoke a bit about the hospice.

Canon Declan blessed the tree.

We all looked skywards, remembering.



I printed the below list of rules last week and it reminded Nicholas of a fictional scene in a Bryan MacMahon play.

Mary, very interesting list of contract conditions and rules for U.S. female teachers in 1923. 

The ‘at least two petticoat’ rule reminded me of Listowel’s Bryan McMahon’s  quote in, I think, his book, The Honey Spike: ‘Two legs in the one stocking!’ The so-and-sos are coming.’ This chastity warning was said to have  been called out by Travellers to their  women when a Traveller from a certain Kerry family approached them.