Listowel Courthouse in January 2024

The Importance of Heritage

Many people around the world whose ancestors left Ireland years and years ago still regard Ireland as “home”. They are Irish. It is very important for us who were left behind to appreciate this, and to help them to connect with their heritage.

Tony Cairns contacted us from New Zealand. He has a lot of work done on his family tree and he is connected to Bob Boland, the farmer poet from Farnastack, Lisselton. Tony is anxious to make contact with a Claire Nolan who collected Boland ‘s poems. If Claire is reading this or someone knows her , contact me and I’ll put her in touch with Tony.

we visit when we can

once or twice a generation

like martlets, swifts and larks

way off, high up

never resting

just singing the songs 

of the hills


and streams of home

Tony Cairns

A Poem picked up in Listowel Library

Local News

In Old God’s time there used to be an occupation, newspaper vendor. These men (I think they were always men or boys) collected the papers from the printers and stood on street corners selling them to passersby.

These vendors had distinctive cries e.g ” Kerry…maaaan, court and all in it” was one.

People loved to read about court cases. They still do. The following story is an account of a court case involving some colourful characters in 1901

Kerry Sentinel, Wednesday, 14 August, 1901;

John O’Dell, Listowel, and Jas Kelly, a tramp, were each sentenced to a week’s imprisonment for begging in Ballybunion.  Joseph Fitzpatrick, better known to Ballybunion visitors as “Mr Browne” was charged with a like offence.

Mr Moran, solicitor, who defended, stated that the defendant was after performing some feats of ventriloquism with his dolls and was looking for money, when he was charged with begging. There were “‘ white coons” and a German band performing in Ballybunion, and the police did not see fit to interfere with them. The case was dismissed on the merits.


Getting Ready for Biddy’s Day

A Fact

Robert Augustus Chesebrough, a chemist from New York, discovered Petroleum Jelly. In 1870, this product was branded as Vaseline Petroleum Jelly. By 1875, Americans were buying Vaseline® Petroleum Jelly at the rate of a jar a minute.

Vaseline was originally marketed as a balm for wounds. Its discoverer believed so much in the all round beneficial powers of Vaseline that he ate a spoonful of it every day. He lived to be 96.