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

Crafting, Some old Advertisements and Faction Fighting

Listowel Town Square in October 2020

Irish Water is replacing the leaky water mains.


From the Archives

Sisters, Rosie and Patricia, crafting in Craftshop na Méar, Church St.,  Listowel  in April 2015


The Super Ballroom over the years went by several different names. At one time it was the Las Vegas. I don’t know who the Denis Cronin Orchestra might have been but certainly the calibre of “forthcoming attractions” would put him among the top Irish entertainers of the 1950s and 60s.

Before he was famous John B. Keane’s used to be known as The Greyhound Bar.


Faction Fights

Schools Folklore Collection

On the 13th of May fair in Listowel some time previous to 1830. some Magheragh men (Ballyduff, Causeway, Ballyheigue, Killanhan, etc) were selling potatoes. A discussion arose as to the comparative merits of the potatoes between the Magheragh men and the cúl-na-lín (Culeen near Listowel) men. The discussion ended in a fight, where the Magheragh men got off the worst as they wouldn’t have the backing in Listowel that the others had. 

At the Whit Monday fair in Ardfert the fight was renewed. Practically every man in North Kerry took one side or another and for years after whenever people assembled at fair or market on Sunday after mass the fight was renewed.

The biggest fight of all took place at (Ballyduff) Ballyeigh on the 24th June 1834. The North Kerry race meeting was then held in Ballyeigh Strand (opposite the Cashen School) but was eventually transferred to Listowel (1870). The races were held on the right hand side of the River Cashen on the strand where the school is now and when some of the combatants tried to escape by crossing the river in boats and swimming, they were attacked by their opponents with stones, bottles, sticks and so on at the left side of the river. A terrible fight ensued in which about thirteen people were drowned and very many injured.

As far as I know there was only one man arrested for it, a well to do man named Leahy of Ballinorig near Causeway. Many others went on the run but were never arrested. He was tried and sentenced to be transplanted (sic) to Freemantle.
For three quarters of a century afterwards the people in this district and in North Kerry generally recorded events from the year the boat was drowned” or from the night of the big wind”. After the tragedy the faction fight slackened and died down and the famine helped to put an end to it altogether.
Even some old people take pride in the fact that their ancestors took one side or the other in the faction.
Collector, Murtie Dowling, Informant

Denis Lawlor, Address, Causeway, Co. Kerry 


John Kellihers photos of a fireworks display over Listowel Town Square during a recent small wedding celebration in The Listowel Arms



NKRO, Changes since 2015 and some Families with a Kerry Connection


Billy Keane, Mount Hillary, Ballincollig and Clonmel

1 Comment

  1. Unknown

    The Denis Cronin orchestra were from Tralee, toured all over Ireland, UK and US. Had never seen that poster before. Thank you.

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